With just over a month left to play in the 2014 NCAA football season, one thing is becoming abundantly clear: even with the switch from the dreaded BCS to a 4-team playoff system, there is an overwhelmingly good chance that there will be all sorts of controversy over whether the four best teams in America actually make college football’s new Final Four.
As things currently stand, the four teams that would vie for the National Championship would be Mississippi State (obviously), Florida State (obviously), Auburn (okay…), and Oregon (ummm). Left on the outside would be an Alabama team that lost at home to Ole Miss, a Notre Dame team that was thisclose to winning AT Florida State, a Kansas State squad that narrowly lost to Auburn, a TCU team that lost in absolutely improbable fashion at Baylor, and, oh yeah, an undefeated Marshall squad that has – absolutely unfairly – been left out of the country’s Top-25 in the new playoff rankings. These are only a handful of teams that have legitimate gripes should the playoffs consist of the four teams that currently sit in pole position.
Now, first things first, some of these rankings are objectively ridiculous. I’m a fan of Oregon, but how in the hell does the committee view Alabama’s home loss to Ole Miss as more embarrassing than Oregon’s home loss to Arizona? I’m about 98% certain that Ole Miss would pummel Arizona on a neutral field. Furthermore, while Auburn has looked impressive lately, their only loss – to 15 at Mississippi State – was not nearly as close as the score indicates. Auburn got stomped by Dak Prescott and Co, yet are still in fine position for a potential rematch in the National Championship game…and we all hate watching rematches.
However, what bothers me more than anything might be the utter exclusion of Marshall in the Top 25. If this playoff system was created to give more teams a chance to compete for the National Championship, it seems ridiculous that an 8-0 team would receive absolutely no consideration whatsoever. Do I think Marshall could hang with Mississippi State or Florida State? No freakin’ way. But do I think they could compete with Duke, Georgia Tech, Wisconsin, et al? Absolutely. Yet, the Thundering Herd are definitely not being thunderingly heard in the voting process.
All of this boils down to a simple conclusion – the playoff system is a nice baby step towards a fair college football postseason…but we still have a long way to go before, in most seasons, we can unanimously anoint one team in the country as being – objectively – the greatest.
Here’s hoping we eventually get to a Sweet Sixteen…how fun would that be?!
Tags : Alabama Crimson Tide, Auburn Tigers, College Football, college football 2014, college football playoff, controversy, featured, Florida State Seminoles, football, Marshall Thundering Herd, Mississippi State Bulldogs, National Championship, NCAA, NCAA football, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, sports, Sports Takes, voting